One of my favourite magazines is Country Living, showcasing all that is beautiful about the English countryside, its crafts and its cooking. With hens, an old house and a slightly untended garden, I am living the dream! In their April 2014 edition, they published a little booklet called "Reclaim the Weekend". A great idea, but I now have a guilt-list of projects to complete... this one, though, was easy! It is a delicious chocolate cake - so good, I thought I'd share it with you. It worked well being gluten and dairy free. I recently visited a dear friend, whose daughter, Lucie, is an aspiring baker, and loves making chocolate things. Lucie, this one is for you....
|Country Living Chocolate Cake|
Country Living Chocolate Cake
8oz/225g unsalted butter, diced (or spread)
8oz/225g caster sugar
175g/6oz self-raising flour
2oz/50g cocoa, sifted
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 medium eggs
3oz/85g unsalted butter, softened (or spread)
4oz/100g icing sugar, sifted
2tsp cocoa, sifted (my son prefers 2 tbsp)
1 egg yolk
4oz/100g milk chocolate (or dairy-free chocolate)
½ oz/15g unsalted butter (or spread)
1oz/30g cocoa, sifted
3tbsp/50ml tbsp coffee or water
1tbsp golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 190 deg C, and grease a deep 20cm (8”) loose base cake tin. Cream the butter and sugar before adding the remaining cake ingredients and beating well. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, and bake for approx 45 minutes, or until a warm skewer comes out clean. Slow is best, so don't be afraid to cook it longer. If it starts to brown on the top, cover loosely with a sheet of foil. Tip the cake out and cool it on a wire rack.
To make the butter icing, using a hand whisk beat together the butter, sugar and cocoa until fluffy, then add the egg yolk and whisk for another minute.
Slice the cold cake in half horizontally and spread the butter icing evenly over the bottom half. Sandwich the cakes together (they should be level!).
For the chocolate icing, melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwave or heatproof bowl over water. Stir until smooth (if it "seizes" - ie, goes grainy - at this point, add a good dollop of cream and beat it into submission). In a small pan, heat the remaining ingredients until almost boiling. Stir into the melted chocolate, smooth over the top of the cake and leave to set for a couple of hours.